The 2020 Rosebowl Rowing campaign was a tremendous success attributed to the passion and perseverance of our St Andrew’s women over the past eight months. After leaving College in March, the girls continued to train hard at home, erging, running and cycling to maintain our endurance fitness whilst we were away. Upon returning to Sydney in August from all over the world, a team of nine talented girls were chosen to face the challenge of bringing the Rosebowl Rowing Cup back home to St Andrew’s College, with a further five selected to represent the Mixie crew.
Our coaches George Davis and Georgia Boric (fr 2017) helped our crew find a solid rhythm set by Dyone Bettega (fr 2018) in the stroke seat, consolidating our stroke synchronisation with high rate pieces and bursts in training. With our resident powerhouses in the middle four consisting of Laura Gourley (fr 2020), Eleanor Price (fr 2020), Zoe Haseler (fr 2019), and Sophia Carmody (fr 2020), we soon found the strong splits we were searching for to aim to bring the Cup back home.
The morning of the race was fuelled by nervous excitement, double shot coffees and a lot of motivating chat bouncing between the women. After a solid warm up, we paddled up to the start line and anxiously waited for the 2000m of gruelling work we had prepared for.
The race began, and the Drew’s women took a flying start, pushing our bow pair, Liv O’Donnell (fr 2020) and Mia Thomas (fr 2019), out in front of the other crews within the first 250m. With a confident lead, the crew continued to drive through the legs, lengthening away from Wesley to break clear water by the 500m mark. Our cox, Emily Brunner (fr 2019), started to relay the splits back to the crew, motivating us to accelerate harder and chase the 7:06.77 record set by Wesley in 2019. Through the 1250m mark, Dyone Bettega (fr 2018) and Laura Chancellor (fr 2020) set up our planned push from the stroke pair, driving down an electric energy through the boat as we inched towards the last 500m. As we hung on into the last minute of the race, we used the cheers and roars of our fellow St Andrew’s supporters to pick up the rate, jump off the catch, and wind into the finish line.
With a triumphant time of 6:56.63, the Drew’s women shaved an outstanding 10 seconds off the course record, a testament to their dedication to the crew and pride in being Androvians.
The Mixie race soon followed, with Lucy Last (fr 2019), Liv Taylor (fr 2019), Zoe Kimber (fr 2020), Hannah Westhuizen (fr 2020), and cox Annika Rhoades (fr 2020) in the St Andrew’s boat taking home the win with a dominant display.
I am beyond proud to be a part of the crew this year and am hugely grateful for the time and effort the girls put in to make it one of the most successful Rosebowl Rowing campaigns to date.
– Mia Thomas (fr 2019)